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April 3, 2012
Australians 30 for 0 (Cowan 10*, Watson 15*) and 214 for 9 declared (Forrest 53*) need 56 to defeat WICB President's XI 201 and 98 (Hilfenhaus 4-8, Lyon 4-17) Scorecard
Based on the evidence of two days in Barbados, the adjustment to life on Caribbean pitches will take rather more time for Australia's batsmen than it has for the bowlers.
Michael Clarke's top six stuttered notably in their first longer form examination on a bone-dry surface at the Three Ws Oval, before the fast and slow men showed they were adapting swiftly to the demands of the region by routing the WICB President's XI.
It was a source of some interest that the two batsmen not expected to play in the first Test, Peter Forrest and Peter Nevill, offered the most accomplished innings, while Clarke and Ricky Ponting stayed only briefly.
Ed Cowan and Shane Watson had been accounted for on the first evening, while David Warner, Michael Hussey and Matthew Wade will play at Kensington Oval after being rested here.
The spin of Ryan Austin and Nkrumah Bonner posed numerous problems, an omen for the West Indies' likely tweaker Devendra Bishoo, and from 81 for 2 the visitors subsided to 214 for 9 in reply to 201 when Clarke declared. Bonner's leg breaks are not of the same standard as Bishoo's, which were hidden from Australia's view during the limited overs matches.
That left Ben Hilfenhaus and Nathan Lyon to carve up the hosts between them for 98 in the afternoon. Lyon's spell was among the more telling passages of the day, showing how quickly he was capable of learning after an indifferent first innings and likely heading off any claims Michael Beer had on the spin berth.
Bowling a little more quickly than on the first day but not lapsing into anything too short or flat, he had the ball spitting treacherously from the surface and nabbed four wickets after Hilfenhaus and James Pattinson had snipped the top off the batting order.
Ponting and Clarke had resumed comfortably, and a few crisp strokes in the first half-hour, not least the captain's punched pull shots from Nelon Pascal, suggested a languid day. However Clarke would then fall victim to a tidy spell from Kevin McLean, who tucked up both batsmen then offered a wider delivery that Clarke swished at and edged behind.
The left-armer Delorn Johnson's action makes little use of his leading arm, but he did not appear to need it in a sturdy stint at the bowling crease that accounted for Ponting, snicking a ball angled across him to depart for 13. The wicketkeeper Nevill demonstrated the compact technique that had served him well over the domestic summer, adding 49 with Forrest in a combination that not so long ago would have been a common sight at a NSW second XI fixture.
Nevill's stay was ended when he tried to cut a leg break from Bonner and touched it on the way through to Baugh, who gathered the chance at the second attempt. Bonner and Austin weaved something of a web around the middle order and tail, varying their degree of turn while maintaining an accurate line on the dustiest of strips.
Peter Siddle was lbw to Bonner on the sweep, Harris went the same way propping forward, before James Pattinson and Hilfenhaus succumbed to off breaks from Austin. At the other end Forrest was playing a neat, unhurried innings after negotiating a handful of short balls early on, and with the last man Lyon he took the tourists into the lead.
Hilfenhaus wasted little time when the Australians bowled again, finding Kieran Powell very lbw when the ball failed to bounce as he expected. No. 3 Bonner was undone by a lack of pace off the pitch, closing the face of his bat too early and deflecting to backward point where Cowan held an athletic catch.
Pattinson rumbled in after tea and removed Devon Smith's off stump as the batsman played around a fast delivery, and Lyon made a useful start to his stint by coaxing Devon Thomas into a wild dance down the pitch that ended with the stumps being tilted back.
Lyon's fourth over would reap two more wickets, Kyle Corbin miscuing a sweep to Clarke running across from slip, and Dwayne Smith squeezing a catch to short leg when an off-break jumped at him. Hilfenhaus was denied the wicket of Jason Holder when Ponting claimed a low catch but the umpires indicated a bump ball off the bat.
Ponting's visible frustration was assuaged as the final four wickets went down rapidly, Hilfenhaus on a hat-trick when he whirred successive deliveries into the pads of McLean and Johnson, only for Pascal to play and miss at the next. Siddle claimed him, leaving Cowan and Watson to collect 30 of the 86 runs required for victory.
Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets hereFeeds: Daniel Brettig
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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